Flexibility

Winter Storm Warning Alert

How flexible are you? How do you cope if work, school, appointments are canceled on last minutes notice? If your child is sick? If your sitter cancels?
How do you deal with the unexpected? Our current weather forecast brings up these questions for me. I ponder my initial reaction- how inconvenient, what will I do with the kids? will clients cancel if there is snow, will I cancel them? When will I reschedule them?
Then I shift into acceptance. Can’t change the weather, and perhaps a day or two playing in the snow could be fun.
Are you rigidly locked into doing things the way you always have, the way your mother did, the way you learned in school? Much unnecessary stress can be caused by our inability to bend. For example you are convinced that using time outs with your children is the only way to discipline them, yet enforcing time
outs rarely leads to a desired outcome, then do you keep taking the same approach, just louder or more frequently?
One mama has a strict rule- no snacks before dinner. Frequently her kids are hungry, whiny, and irritable while she is trying to get dinner ready after a long day at work. She restates “no snacks before dinner, we have never snacked before dinner and we are’t going to today”. She may go on and on about why… but the
kids are melting, and her anxiety and stress levels are rising. Soon she is barking directions at them, they are crying, she has a headache and dinner is still 30 minutes out. She is stuck. Maybe this is the way we have always done it, and it may have worked in the past, but is it working currently? Not really? She could be flexible and offer fruit or other light snacks in order to keep everyones blood sugar from plummeting and to create a calmer evening.
I have worked with countless mamas who come in with relationship issues. The stories are predictable. They report having young children at home, they are financially stressed, they have little support and they have NO couple time. They are fighting with their spouse, feel at their wits end etc. Then they tell me they are vehemently opposed to using any day care or babysitters, and give a long list of reasons supporting their choice. Oh. That explains awhole lot and I absolutely respect their values about childcare,
however, I have to ask, is that working for you now? What part of this equation is flexible?

Take time today to identify areas where your predictable response or approach is not working so well, even increasing your stress.
Where are you stuck? Are you willing to try something different?
Adapt your reaction? If there is storm, you can choose to seeth inside because your schedule, routine and plans are foiled, or you can bend, enjoy family time in the snow, drink hot chocolate and make it a special day,
Surprise them.
Surprise yourself!

And stay warm this week!

For more on managing your stress effectively go to http://www.thethrivingmama.com/stress-and-you/

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